Brief | December 9, 2020

California's 0-3 Child Care Crisis

The economic impacts of insufficient child care on parents, employers and taxpayers

For California, inadequate infant and toddler child care imposes substantial and long-lasting economic consequences; its effects are felt by parents, businesses, and the state’s taxpayers. The top-line findings of ReadyNation’s 2019 study examining the economic impacts of gaps in our nation’s child care system on working parents, employers, and taxpayers describe the consequences. The verdict: an annual economic cost of $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue.

California’s Gross Domestic Product represents roughly 16 percent of the nation’s GDP and California’s population represents roughly 12 percent of the nation’s total population. That suggests that the lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children, up to age 3, could come to $6.8 to $9.1 billion in annual costs for California. The negative economic consequences of the infant/toddler child care crisis described here were calculated before the COVID-19 pandemic.

California policymakers must expand programs to enhance the affordability and availability of quality child care – particularly for infants and toddlers. Action now can improve the experiences of California children today and strengthen our state in the years to come.

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  1. California